Enhancing Yoga Practice with Scents

aromatherapy

Yoga has always been a form of exercise, the combination of which was giving the effect of alternative medicine in Hinduism. For centuries, yoga was famous for its numerous advantages in the field of human body improvement.  Recent studies have shown that the combination of aromatherapy and yoga has a tremendous effect on our mind, body and soul simultaneously. Natural scents of essential oils relieve psychological stress, making us feel better and healthier.

One of the undoubted advantages of yoga is that it lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, and strengthens the immune system. And when these undeniable advantages are combined with aromatherapy, whose beneficial effects on the human body are proven, we refine our mind, body and soul.

There are a lot of aromatic oils, but just a few are known for their great effect to yoga:

Incense Oil – earthy scent of incense has a calming effect on our brain. During meditation, it will help you become better acquainted with your spiritual and inner strength. It opens the upper chakras and heals the body by getting rid of stress, fatigue and depression.

Lavender Oil – helps to relieve anxiety, nervousness, headaches and insomnia. Also it has a calming effect on our heart and brings peace and relaxation.

Sweet Orange – a pleasant aroma of sweet orange is uplifting. It eliminates the unnecessary and unjustified fears, activates all the senses and stimulates the desire to live.

Myrrh Oil – has a calming effect on the central nervous system. It fills our mind with calmness and serenity and strengthens the chakras. Myrrh will heal your emotional turmoil and psychological wounds.

Lemongrass Oil – the light aroma of lemon essential helps to relieve our mind from tension, stress and bustle of everyday life. It relieves nervous tension and brings the feelings of happiness.

Ylang-Ylang – floral scent of ylang-ylang increases confidence, lowers blood pressure and relives headache. Sweetness of its flavour has a positive effect on our libido and mood swings.

The effect of yoga with a combination of aromatherapy gives a long term effect, which is very useful especially during the pregnancy. To experience all the benefits of yoga with aromatherapy, you need to practice the exercises at least for a month. The combination of exercise and scents has a double positive effect on you. It will accelerate the process of relaxation and improve the mental alertness, while opening a door for spiritual development.

If you are not having an immediate access to above mentioned essential oils, you can always use your favourite perfume, perhaps spraying your room before the practice. Any scent that makes you feel calm and relax will serve the purpose. It has to be fresh and not obtrusive, so avoid heavy fragrances by any means. Try, for example, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, they are light and earthy. Even ladies tend to recommend men’s colognes as they are more universal and less offensive (important if you practice yoga with somebody else).

There are no strict rules, and you can use anything from a scented soap bar to aromatic candle if that brings you that relaxation and calmness that we want to achieve.

Related links:

How to Organize a Home Yoga Practice

yoga-in-the-gym

Starting your own home yoga practice can seem confusing, but there are just a few important rules you have to follow. So, let’s check them through…

You need to practice yoga regularly – the same way as you need to sleep, eat, and take medication. If yoga classes are held once or twice a week in a group, it is not enough to show all their healing effect it has. Probably, you will feel some improvement in health and mood after practice – but it won’t be sustainable enough. To uncover the full potential, you should regularly practice yoga at home, alone.

The human body is exposed to cyclicality, which is evident throughout: take, for example, the allocation of hormones and digestive juices in our body; some cycles last for minutes or hours, the other – the days and months … All of these cycles depend on each other, like mechanisms in the clock. Failure of any rhythm is disastrous for the entire body. If you add to your life another cyclic process like yoga, you will be able to control and configure other rhythms, and thus, improve and maintain your health.

However, how to organize a home yoga training? How to change our lives so that we can dedicate an hour or two for a daily practice? After all, we have a family, work, school, friends, and almost no free time.

What Time to Choose for Training?

It is preferable to start in the morning: in this case, you get the energy for the whole day. In addition, morning yoga classes are easier to plan. In the evening, your mind is loaded with hundreds of thoughts about the day, whereas in the morning you are calm and relaxed.

However, changing your mode so that you get up 1.5-2 hours earlier is not easy. Remember that yoga should not be another stress in your life; it should deliver you from it. At the end, it is a lot better to conduct yoga practice in the evening than to torment your body daily with sleep deprivation as you won’t be able to last more than one or two months. So start doing yoga when it is easiest and convenient for you.

Finding a Right Place for Your Training

Yoga practice should be conducted in a warm, quiet and tidy place. Be sure that you will not be disturbed. Keep the animals out of the room and turn off the phone.

Make sure you stay warm and cosy and all times. It is not just about being relaxed, but also to avoid the risk of catching a cold or pull muscles and ligaments. Carefully choose your clothes or think of getting a heater in advance.

Silence is very important during your training, especially at the beginning. If it is impossible to exclude the extraneous sounds, just get the earplugs from the nearest pharmacy. In the first stage, until you learn to relax and focus, it is important that nothing distracts you from the practice.

Keep your area clean and tidy: remove the dust from the home furniture, cabinets and under sofas, etc. Yoga involves a long time lying on the floor, and by breathing in dust you run the risk of getting sick.

Food and Refreshments

You need to practice yoga on an empty stomach. And this is another argument in favor of morning practice. The evening training should be carried out not less than after 2-4 hours after a meal. If you’re very hungry, it is possible to eat something light: yogurt, apple or soup. It is beneficial to have some drinks before the training: water, tea, juice or milk. You can also keep the glass of water next to you during the exercises and sip periodically.

If you cannot do yoga every day, make sure that the practice is systematic at least. Say, train every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or every other day, but regularly and without gaps.

We wish you successful and regular practice!

 

 

Hot Discussion: The Yoga of Sound

listening-to-music

Music is a stream of energy and plays an important role in yoga practices. It controls our emotions, mind and mood. Music is one of the factors that determine the direction of the development of human civilization.

Nada Yoga is the official terms for the Yoga of sound that is discussing the role of “inner sound”, a thin vibration, which is a magical tone that people are trying to concentrate on during their meditation.

We live in a world filled with different sounds: quiet and loud, chaotic and ordered, soothing and annoying, healing and debilitating.

Since ancient times, people used sounds to receive vital information about the world and to communicate with each other. While still in the womb, a child listens to mother’s heartbeat, hears her voice and music and he makes a muffled sounds himself.

Sound is the result of the vibrational motion of different particles and objects: small – such as atoms and electrons, and giant – such as a planet.

Sound is the invisible yet powerful force capable of causing both favourable (joy, inspiration, healing, relaxation, serenity) and destructive (irritation, depression, desolation, disease and even death) changes.

Musical sounds are unique: their frequencies are interconnected with each other with certain proportions (harmonics). The same proportions can be observed in the variety of natural phenomena, starting from the development of cell and the movement of the planets around the sun. They are subject to a certain rhythms like 4/4, 2/4, 3/4, 6/8 that have direct corresponding beats with human life processes.

A man can be compared to a complex and unique musical instrument. Every atom, molecule, cell, tissue and organ of our bodies constantly emits a frequency of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life. In fact, music has a very deep and multifaceted impact on almost all the functions in the human body (blood circulation, digestion, respiration, internal secretion activity of the nervous system and brain), as well as emotions, desires and feelings. Interesting, but high levels of water in our cells helps transmit the sound. The general mechanical effect thus can be compared with a deep massage on the atomic and molecular levels.

But not only yoga In ancient Greece and Rome, music was carefully selected to preserve the health, cleanliness and solid character. Such philosophes as Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle considered music as vital factor for the soul’s health, morality and cultural flowering.

Some harmonious musical sequences have beneficial effects on human health and development: they harmonize the feelings, heal the body, fill us with energy and vigour, give food to the soul – the spiritual experience, improving our memory and speeding up the learning process. A good example is classical music as well as music for meditation.

Music accompanies the flow of energy throughout the universe, even in the smallest cell. Many years of practice show that there are no functions in the human body that have never been influenced by music. Based on the results of research conducted by scientists, we can confidently assert that music stimulates digestion, internal secretion, circulation and breathing. This happens in two different ways: direct effect, i.e. effect of a sound on cells and organs and indirect – through the effect of emotion, which in turn affects a number of processes in the human body.

Although some of you may like jazz and rock music, it is said that they cause downward movement of energy from the lower chakras to the Sahasrara. Jazz has a subtle but steady influence on the mind and emotions. A person loses touch with reality, as literally loses the Divine Mind.

You are what music you listen to! So be selective and feed your cells with quality music!

Related links:

 

Introduction To Yoga Culture

yoga-practice

It is impossible to give a precise definition of this very ancient and profound culture that is hard to understand unless you are truly enlightened person.

Each spiritual school system defines the word “yoga” in different way. Somehow yoga is associated with supernatural powers, that are not clear enough, but at the same time treated as something important and helpful.

Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga… it is easy to get lost trying to examine each direction, sometimes facing huge discrepancies and contradictions, as well as systematic debate arising between schools for supremacy belonging to this “supernatural” power. This, in turn, is causing even more confusion to beginners and sincere laughter to those experienced in yoga.

Originally, yoga is one of the six areas of Indian philosophy, which has its roots in the ancient texts of Indian culture – the Vedas. These directions are determined by the Sanskrit term “darshan”, where the root “Driesch” means “to see”, thus “darshan” is understood as “vision”, “knowledge” and “special point of view.” The root “yuj” in the word “yoga” means “to unite”, “to join together”. So who is that person we are about to connect with?  At least with yourself, and later – with the Divine Principle that everyone defines and describes in their own way. Whether we believe or not, there are events in our lives that cannot be explained from the scientific point of view, but are recognized all around the world.

Thus yoga is a state or process of expanding our consciousness through spiritual and physical practice whose aim is to achieve the absolute unity with God (the universe, the cosmos). This ultimate, sublime, spiritual state of being is described as a state of absolute joy and boundless bliss, thus people who have reached the highest stage of yoga are called enlightened.

So what direction to choose, which practices are the best and why there are so many? We have discussed that yoga is the certain state. But in order to get to this state we need to practice. Each yoga practice corresponds to a set of spiritual and physical exercises, including the sacred ones that should lead us to the desired state.

For example, if we take Hatha Yoga, we can see how certain set of static and dynamic exercises, Mantra Yoga or Yoga of Sound is putting emphasis on the concentrated meditative repetition of sounds and so on. It is important to understand that no matter what direction you would choose, you should be aware that in fact it does not matter whether you are doing Hatha or Ashtanga yoga, chanting mantras or doing push-ups. The main idea behind those exercises is what you get at the end. Ideally, you should get a state that should lead (in accordance with the definition given above) to God, to the internal state of peace, calm and love on all levels of existence.